Email is undoubtedly a marvelous invention that has revolutionized the process of communication, especially from a professional perspective. It allows us to connect with our colleagues, employer, and business partners. Email is a wonderful tool to convey any information, guidance, or directives professionally. Still, there are some mistakes in writing emails that can give a negative impression to the person on the receiving end.
Whether you represent an organization or you’re a business owner, you must know the art of writing engaging, captivating, and mistake-free professional emails because it’s a must-have skill to be successful in your career. For that, you need to avoid mistakes that inexperienced people commonly commit during writing emails. Do You know the mistakes that can dispel the effectiveness and engagement of your emails are? We will discuss some common mistakes to avoid while writing a professional email.
Writing Incomprehensive Subject Lines
The first thing in your professional email that gets the reader’s attention is the subject line. The purpose of writing the subject line is to inform the receiver about the objective, content, and intention of writing the email. If your subject line is not concise and understandable, your professional email will not be worth checking for the receiving end. Your subject line should be precise and appease the recipient. Use a suitable set of words in such a way that your subject line starts delivering the essence of the whole email. Your subject line should produce a sense of urgency among the recipient.
For example, if you want to inform your colleagues about a meeting for sales improvement, you should write the subject line in the following way:
“Updated Invitation: Sales Improvement Discussion at Jan 1, 2022, 8 PM – 10 PM.”
It is a common but embarrassing mistake committed while writing a professional email. The email recipient constantly searches for the words like “I’ve attached” or “please check the attached file,”. If these words are mentioned, and the emails are sent without any attachments, it can be a source of embarrassment for you and even deplorability. To avoid this mistake, you should check the necessary attachments at least twice before clicking the “send” button.
Writing too lengthy or too short email content.
Do you think your email content is too wordy or bland? Then, it’s time to change it because it will carry a wrong impression of yours. Optimize your email to describe the purpose of the email in minimum productive words. You shouldn’t be repetitive, just get to the point and avoid any pleasantries. Once you’re sure that you’ve put forth your point carefully, stop writing further and move towards closing. Always try to write simple, accessible, and understandable email content. Avoid including too much information in an email; it could be not easy for the reader. If you want to discuss at length an issue, email is not the best channel of communication; you should better have a phone conversation or a conference call.
Grammatical or Spelling Mistakes
The spelling mistakes or grammatical errors in your emails can let you down in front of your colleagues and employer. Regardless of the high quality of email content, these mistakes can spoil everything. Grammatical or spelling mistakes might be small but large enough to distort your image in the eyes of email recipients. To avoid grammatical or spelling errors in your email content, you can just use a grammar-checking app. Another way to prevent these errors is to proofread your whole email at least twice before sending it.
Using a complex font
Some fonts are complex and difficult to understand, such as the fonts used in designing. These fonts shouldn’t be used for writing emails. Please use simple fonts such as Times New Roman or Calibri to write emails. You can use a scheme of cozy colors to make the email content captivating. Choose the font size carefully and make sure it looks pleasant to the eyes. Don’t use any blur or stinging eye colors that can distort the reader’s experience.
Choosing a wrong writing style
There are two types of writing styles to adopt in emails: formal and informal. Professional emails usually involve a formal style. Most people confuse informal style with formal style and start using Colloquialisms in professional emails like wanna, gonna, nope, yep, or yeah. Avoid such a thing if you want to give your emails a professional touch. Avoid using contractions like can’t or didn’t as much as you can. Instead of writing wordy sentences in active voice, use passive voice preferably.
Sending emails at a wrong time
What would you feel if someone sends you an email at 3 AM when you’re sleeping? Indeed, you won’t like it, and it can even make you angry because of the disturbance in your sleep. That’s the mistake most people commit repeatedly. They send emails at bad times like midnight, after business hours, weekends, or on holidays, etc. If there is no time zones discrepancy between the sender and the receiver, professional emails should be sent during duty timings except in emergency cases.
Sharing the wrong document or disclosing unsolicited information
Volunteering information not requested by the recipient could be a killer. Many email users provide information that may be unnecessary. Most of the time, the sender did mistakenly attaches the wrong document. Once the recipient has seen it, it is a done deal! The wrong document could be used for other purposes and sometimes to the detriment of the sender (bank statements, embarrassing photos, court proceeding documents, etc.). Please check and recheck every single document you have attached to your email.
DO NOT forward every email! – Please check and cross-check the recipient’s name and email contact
Do not forward, or copy (c-ced) every single email coming on your way. Please always use good judgment when copying people on your emails! The email tracks, exchanges, and all messages and associated notes are automatically available to the copied or forwarded recipient. Some of the forwarded contents could be unrelated or private. People often make the horrible mistake of sending emails to the wrong email address. This could cause irreversible damages – depending on the content – Please ensure you are clear about the email address. It could be too late to try to un-send or recall an email.
Disclosing sensitive, confidential, personal, financial, or private information
Depending on the situations, proposal development, grants, business-related, contract and subcontract management, donor relationship, etc., It could be highly sensitive to include some financial information depending on the recipient, the purpose, and the timing. Please make sure you have the right to disclose financial, or sensitive information or crucial data. Please ensure you are not bound by a confidentiality agreement preventing you from disclosing information to subcontractors, third parties, or potential clients.
Avoid Using slang, obscene, vulgar, sexist, unprofessional, or unethical expressions
Your email could be shared widely by the recipient(s). Do not use too familiar terms or jargon in your email. Make sure to keep your note professional and stick with descent and positive attitude, correct, clear, and concise language in your written communication. Many people are very sensitive and could be hurt when messages have sexually explicit content, politically or religiously sensitive expressions or opinions. Always avoid aggressive, intimidating, brutal, or violent expressions or unprofessional phrases in your written messages. Make sure your tone is perfect, diplomatic with a neutral position regarding politics, gender orientation, and religion.
Disclosing codes, data, or security information
Please keep security information out of your email especially in contexts and situations that could threaten a person or people’s safety. Do not include critical and unnecessary data like physical locations, addresses, codes, passwords, coded messages, crucial numbers, or virtual keys.
Using abbreviations and short-hand words
Although abbreviations are an excellent way to write long words or terms in short, sometimes, they can cause misunderstanding for the recipient. For example, some people use FYI in place of “For Your Information.” It might not be evident for the recipient. So try to avoid the use of abbreviations as much as you can.
Whenever you write a professional email, you should expect some questions or queries you must answer. The email recipients can send you their inquiries, and you’ll answer them by replaying them. This communication is a two-way street that runs between you and your email recipients, and to maintain it, you must have to reply each of the queries made by your recipient.
These are some mistakes that should be avoided while writing a professional email. You can also use any standard email assistant tool to ensure quality while email writing.
Please remember to always close your message with good, polite or nice expressions, e.g. yours sincerely, Warm regards, Kind regards, Best, Cheers, etc.
Always sign and include your name, the bane of your organization, your position, or your title in the professional email! The social media handles (your organization’s Facebook, Twitter accounts, etc.) are not indispensable. But, they are powerful and essential promotion tools that can enhance the visibility of your organization. Some books provide excellent and executive guidance to email correspondence https://amzn.to/3EsAXwV
Beware! Everything in writing lasts forever. Your notes can be used against you at any time even years or decades later. Your writing is a mirror of your personality. Please take care of what you are writing, please read twice your messages and check the attachments before clicking “send”. An email can open the door for good things to come. It could also shut off opportunities for good. It is best practice in the workplace to precede or follow an email by a phone conversation to ensure the recipient gets clarity, buy-in, and alignment. Furthermore, depending on the urgency of the situation, a phone call might be better than an email. A phone call carries the authority and personal touch of the initiator. These considerations are not necessarily reflected in a written message.